We’ve known since last year that Fujifilm was skipping full frame and head its eyes on something bigger. They were working on the GFX 50S, a mirrorless camera with a medium-format sensor; arguably the most anticipated camera, if not the most anticipated medium format, to come out last year. During its debut, Fuji was hush on many of the specs, release date, and the price. Today Fuji announce the bombshell that their medium format camera will hit the stores next month with a price lower than its leading competitor.

Fuji definitely granted many a photog’s wishes, packaging a large sensor into a minuscule mirrorless design. The new shooter features a massive 51.4 MP ‘Fujifilm G Format’ medium-format sensor (43.8 x 32.9mm), that is 1.7x the area of a full frame sensor and combined with the X-Processor Pro produces images with outstanding dynamic range, reduced noise, and excellent detail.

Specs at a glance:

  • 43.8mm by 32.9mm Bayer array sensor
  • 51.4 MP (8,256 by 6,192)
  • Base ISO: 100-12,800 (50-102,400 expanded)
  • 256-zone metering
  • Focal plane shutter
  • 1/4,000 s mechanical shutter
  • 1/16,000 s electronic shutter
  • 1/125 s flash sync speed (up to 1/800 s with H mount adapter)
  • 3.0 fps continuous shooting with unlimited JPEGs, 13 lossless compressions raws, or 8 uncompressed raws (1.8 fps when using electronic first curtain shutter)
  • AE bracketing, film simulation bracketing, dynamic range bracketing, ISO bracketing, white balance bracketing
  • Contrast-detect AF with 117 points
  • Built-in interval shooting
  • 0.5-inch 3.69 million-dot OLED viewfinder with 100% coverage and 0.85x magnification
  • Flash sync modes: first curtain, second curtain, auto FP (HSS)
  • 3.2-inch, 2,360K-dot, tilting touchscreen LCD
  • 1.28-inch monochrome sub-LCD monitor
  • Full HD at 29.97p and 36 Mbps
  • Film simulation with optional grain simulation (available on all simulations)
  • Wi-Fi
  • Battery life: 400 shots

The GFX 50S has Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes, and can capture Full HD video at up to 30p, with a bit rate of 36 Mbps. The GFX 50S supports tethered shooting from a PC via Fuji’s X Acquire software or the Tethered Shooting Plug-in Pro for Lightroom, as one would expect from a camera in this class.

The weather-sealed body includes a magnesium alloy skeleton, a 3.2″ dual-tilt touchscreen LCD and a detachable 2.36M-dot OLED viewfinder, with optional tilt adapter, allowing it to tilt upward by 90° and rotated left or right by 45°. On the top plate there is an ISO and shutter speed dial (something we have expected from Fuji) and a 1.28″ LCD which displays current shooting settings. Rounding out the camera there are two SD card slots, both of which support high-speed UHS-II media and a newly developed battery capable of 400 shots.

Along with the GFX 50S, three lenses were released. Utilizing the reverse crop of 0.79x, Fuji’s new GF 63mm f/2.8 R is a 50 mm equivalent, the GF 120mm f/4 Macro R LM OIS WR, which is equivalent to 95mm, and the GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR, equivalent to 25-51mm. Three more lenses are on the horizon later this year which Fujifilm has only unveiled the names: the GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR (equiv to 87mm), the GF 23mm f/4 R LM WR (equiv to 18mm), and the GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR (equiv to 35mm).

Optional accessories include the VG-GFX1 Vertical Battery Grip, H-Mount adapter which allows the use of Super EBC Fujinon HX lenses developed for the GX645AF film camera, and the View Camera Adapter G, which enables the GFX 50S to be used as a digital back with most 4 x 5″ systems.

The GFX 50S will be available in late February for $6,499 for the body only. The GF 63mm f/2.8 R WR Lens will be $1,499, the GF 120mm f/4 Macro R LM OIS WR Lens will be $2,699 and the GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR Lens will be $2,299 when they hit shelves.